UNC Men’s College Basketball Preview (sent to me by Dan Kane)

Despite my best efforts, UNC will be playing basketball this season. I have done everything I can, scouring PackPride for the latest rumors and gossip and seeking out classes where students wrote papers instead of taking exams for their final grade, to link the AFAM scandal and football player plagiarism directly to Roy Williams but so far I have not been successful. I remain hopeful, however, and refuse to let the matter die.

Don’t worry, folks, I’m taking the UNC basketball ship down!

So, unfortunately, UNC will take the court in the first game of the season with Roy still at the helm and no academic suspensions caused by my investigations this summer. The pressure will be on Reggie Bullock, Leslie McDonald and Dexter Stickland to be strong leaders on a very young team with players that will be question marks (and I don’t just mean about their eligibility). James Michael McAdoo, who by virtue of his last name stinks to high heaven of cheating, will have to step up and deliver on the promise he showed while filling in for John Henson after he was injured in the tournament.

P.J. Hairston continues not to dazzle, so it won’t be so bad for him when the season is vacated after I uncover that one of the classes he took last year did not have a text book, which is just another example of UNC’s long history of academic fraud. Whoever heard of a class without a textbook?

UNC is expecting big things from Marcus Paige, who I’m sure was paid $200,000 by UNC to attend because of some designer clothing I think I’ve seen him wear, but I just can’t prove it yet. UNC fans are also excited about J.P. Tokoto, who is being compared to that cheater Vince Carter, but I doubt he’ll get much playing time because he’s from Wisconsin, which is Big 10 country, a conference that features known cheaters Ohio State. I’m sure there’s a connection somewhere that will lead to his suspension midway through the season.

Final predictions: 0-28 (season will be vacated)
Vacated ACC tournament runner-up
Vacated 2nd round of NCAA tournament appearance

‘Twas the Night Before Krzyzmas

‘Twas the night before Krzyzmas, (though we didn’t know that)
And not a creature was stirring, not even a rat.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

But with its little old driver so angry and gay,
I knew in a moment it must be Coach K.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he shouted and cursed them, and called them by name!

“Now Wojo! Now, Singler! now, Redick and Curry!
On, Paulus! On, Shavlik! Melchionni, please hurry!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now flop away! Flop away! Flop away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of douchebags, and their Leader too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the ceiling
Their prancing and pawing and loud girlish squealing
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Coach K came in with a bound.

He was dressed like a pallbearer, from his head to his feet,
And his haircut was tidy, his dark suit was neat
A sack full of cheese he had flung on his back,
Likely Gouda, Romano, and Monterey Jack

His eyes-how they twinkled! His dimples had merit!
His cheeks were like roses, His nose like a ferret!
His smug little mouth was drawn up and droll,
And the hair on his head was dyed blacker than coal.

He was sickly and gaunt, a right creepy old elf,
And I gasped when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A snarl of his lip and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to worry I had something to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And took all our presents, the rotten old jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
Blew out a big wad of snot on my clothes!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, as they sang “Hark the Herald”,
“Remember the real victim in all this is Gerald!”

Greatest Movie Title Ever.

While I can only assume that the actual film will be so terrible that your Grandma will throw up from afar if you watched it [even if she's dead], there is no argument against the greatness of this movie’s title.

For those of you with lazy clicking fingers, that’s The 41 Year Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It. Epic, I know.

Featured characters of note include:

Obviously, the film will try to capitalize on parodying the highly successful Judd Apatow films of the disseminated names, in the same vein as the Scary Movie series, Not Another Teen Movie, and other crapfests we’ve been very tempted to watch but never did.

This may or may not be footage from the film [Does it really matter?]. Enjoy.

Hat tip to our dearly departed writer, Stimulus Package. We will never forget.

UPDATE: Here’s the actual (NSFW) trailer for the movie. Click at your own risk.

Dyke-isms: A Guide to Color Commentary

Hello college basketball fanatics, it’s me, Jimmy Dykes. The writers at EJSIC have cordially invited me to write a guess post about the world of color commentary. You hear guys like Dick Vitale and Bill Raftery and myself drop lots of knowledge during ESPN telecast that you, the viewer, had probably never before heard; like big men hedging on screens, or the fundamental way to block out a rebounder.

We make it sound easy and simple, but really, there’s a lot of work involve to become the best in our business. And while we all bring different flavors to a broadcast, there are a few commonalities one must know to succeed. If you follow this guide, you may end up a co-worker of mine.

1. Know the teams you’re covering

All great commentary stars with homework. As a beginner, you should start by reading the team’s beat writer’s articles in the local paper. You may even watch a game or two when you have an off-night. The key to successful commentary is picking up on the small things the viewer at home, i.e. the amateur, doesn’t see.

The last game I called was on Tuesday at Rupp Arena when Tennessee played arch-rival Kentucky. I’ve been following John (when you’re really good, you can call coaches by their first names) since his days at Memphis. I didn’t do too much research. I already know that he lets his posse players play street ball. For Tennessee on the other hand, I read a few newspaper articles and watched some of their games.

Putting in the extra mile, as we like to say in Bristol, makes all the difference in a successful commentary.

2. Developing Key Words and Catch-phrases

Another aspect to add to your game is key words. Nothing screams “expert” to the home viewer more than a few well-timed insider words. I’m talking about words / catch-phrases that convey a deeper knowledge and understanding of the game at hand.

A couple of my personal favorites are “nail” and “tough two.” Players who nail the tough twos in a game are more likely to spur their teams onto victory. It’s common to interject these words at pivotal moments of the game. For example, if a player misses a crucial free throw, I like to turn to my partner Brad Nessler and say, “Gotta nail those.”

You really have to hammer home your key words throughout a broadcast. That may mean repeating them as much as twenty to thirty times. I like to practice before a game by envisioning the players on the floor and seeing myself make the perfect call. I really believe it helps.

My colleague Dick Vitale has made his mark with catch-phrases, Bay-Be. Another close friend, Bill Raftery, stuns viewers with his brilliant “nickle-dimer.”

3. Develop a Useful Diagram

Diagrams are a great way to nail the viewer with information. It allows you, the commentator, to (1) convey a lot of information in a simple form, and (2) pull the attention away from the game and to your vast expertise. True, the commentator should never be above the game, but the few brief moments during a timeout is your time to shine.

One of my favorite diagrams is the NCAA seeding jet. I’ve used it each of the last few seasons to display number one seeds (i.e. first class), bubble teams (rear of the plane), and teams not quite good enough for the big dance (out of the plane). It accomplishes the tough two goals, and it’s really simple. In fact, I’ve made a quick airplane diagram for the commentators at ESPN and how we all fit into those categories.

Jet Diagram

As you cans see from the diagram, locks for number one seeds include three of our best guys: Dick Vitale, Bill Raftery, and Jay Bilas. These guys (like Duke, Ohio State, Kentucky, and Arkansas) bring it each and every night.

The back of the plane has three solid guys who occasionally have an off night: Fran Franschilla, Stephen Bardo, and myself. We may make an errant comment once in a while, but otherwise, we’re solid. Barring a catastrophe, we’re in the tournament.

Out of the plane is three powerhouses experiencing down years (think North Carolina, UCLA, and Gonzaga): Coach Knight, Len Elmore, and Doris Burke. These three folks are usually great commentators who are experiencing a lackluster year due to a partner change (or in Coach Knight’s case having to work with Brent Musberger), or off-the-side-of-the-court problems.

4. Have a Great Working Relationship with your Partner

As a commentator, you can’t do it all. You can carry your partner for 24 miles of the marathon, but a good partner nails the final tough two miles for you.

Brad and I have a great relationship. We help each other with make-up before the game, we share a good meal with the crew, and we often room together on the road. I really can’t think of better guy to sleep in a hotel bed with than Brad Nessler. He doesn’t even pull the cover to his side of the bed.

5. Have a Favorite Player for Quick Reference

The media is supposed to be unbiased. As a commentator, you should work towards that goal. But, you need a quick reference at hand to relate to the fans. My favorite is Arkansas shooting guard Rotnei Clarke. He taught BYU’s Jimmer Fredette everything he knows.

Arkansas' Rotnei Clarke

I use Rotnei to demonstrate fundamental basketball and to show how hard a good player works. The viewers at home relate because Rotnei is a household name.

Other guys have picked out personal favorites to reference as well. Vitale has gone with the entire Duke team for the past decade which is another option. I’ve heard Doris Burke reference Ashton Gibbs and Kemba Walker a ton this season, but I don’t really know either of those players (which explains her poor performance this season).

Well EJSIC readers, I’ve reached my word limit. I hope this guide was helpful. Catch me on Super Tuesday. Until then, yours truly, Jimmy.

EJSIC’s Big East Tournament Preview

It’s March everyone. Time for the most publicized conference tournament to take center stage again, on the biggest stage in the country. Welcome to Madison Square Garden, where last second shots can keep your tournament chances alive or not count at all. Where the magic of Six Overtimes happens. Where the city’s eyes take focus on some of the best teams in the country to restore New York’s fervent love for basketball. Let’s get it started.

This year, Syracuse won the league by a comfortable two games. They come in as the favorite and the #1 seed. But they, along with the other teams seeded in the top 4 (Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Villanova) will all have to sit for two days, blessed or cursed by the Big East’s double bye structure. First tip off begins on Tuesday at Noon, with the surprising South Florida Bulls facing the perennially depressing DePaul Blue Demons. Here’s the EJSIC’s preview of this week’s action in the most famous arena in the world.

Seeds:

1) Syracuse
2) Pittsburgh
3) West Virginia
4) Villanova
5) Marquette
6) Louisville
7) Notre Dame
8 ) Georgetown
9) South Florida
10) Seton Hall
11) Cincinnati
12) Connecticut
13) St. John’s
14) Rutgers
15) Providence
16) DePaul

Here’s how the bracket looks.

Now let’s predict the action!

Continue reading

The most interesting race in the ACC

The Atlantic Coast Conference, a juggernaut in college basketball, is having a down season by its own standards. But don’t give up on them yet. The Tar Heels may be free-falling and the Blue Devils pulling away a little more after each game, but an intriguing competition remains.

Like most seasons, it involves the Heels and the Devils. However, this race is all about the coaches: Mike Krzyzewski of Duke and Roy Williams of North Carolina. Both coaches are vying for the coveted “ACC Douche of the Year” award.

Coach K has long been considered such, but he actually finds himself trailing this season. He was getting shutout, actually, until this past week, but we’ll get to that a little later.

Roy Williams
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The good ole boy who says “daggumit” when he spills his Coca-Cola on his baby blue vest has lost a little luster on his image this season with two douche moments. The first occurred during the non-conference season when Roy had an opposing fan thrown out of the Dean Dome.

That opposing fan happened to root for the powerhouse Presbyterian College Blue Hose and said fan hollered during one of Carolina’s players free throw attempt. Roy had him escorted away. The incident caused some ripples in the blogosphere, but the real douche move occurred recently when Williams compared his team’s struggles to the Haiti earthquake. A public backlash ensued and he later apologized.

Roy Williams – 2

Mike Krzyzewski
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The coach of the Duke Blue Devils who enjoys gardening and employing a soft-spoken voice during television interviews has long been hated by the rival Heels and college basketball fans nationwide. But as I stated earlier, he was on the verge of being blow out in this race if it hadn’t of been for a game this week in Miami.

In the second half, Duke guard Jon Scheyer was at the free throw line when Coach K heard an unusual sound in the stands. It turns out it was a conch shell being blown by a student. Krzyzewski had the Miami staff remove the noise maker (I’d like to point out that Miami University is now up for the biggest pussy award for not protecting their home court) and the game resumed after a slight delay.

Mike Krzyzewski – 1

Now the ACC has something to really promote in the last two weeks of conference play plus the tournament. Duke and UNC already hate each other so their respective fans should jump on this immediately. Good luck to both coaches and may the biggest douche win.